What If You Have All The Tools You Need To Get Through Tough Times?

That was the easiest birthday gift ever. For the woman who has, Well, a lot. And, And, at the same time, Not the life she planned. She planned on spending the rest of her life with her college sweetheart. The one she’d been married to for 30 years. She planned on setting off on a new adventure with him. Empty nest style, as their youngest headed off to college. He planned on getting to know the company secretary. “Finding himself”

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Your Miracle Cure When Raising Teenagers Gets You Down

I’m still shaking my head. At this miracle treatment. The syndrome for which I was told there was no cure. That only time would heal this common malady. The affliction of living with teenagers. Perhaps you know the symptoms, Dear Reader. The rejection of your very being. To be told, That you are a dumb adult, Totally no fun to be around, A colossal bore. With an 16-year-old and an 18-year-old at home, we are in the thick of it.

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The Puppy You Prescribed For My Broken Doggie Heart

You did this. I’ve said that many times these last few days. You, Dear Reader. You, who took the time to reach out after my beloved Darla Dog passed. You, who encouraged me to get another dog. You, who told me to not wait too long. You, who said the ache would ease. You, who said it wouldn’t, but to take the dive anyway. And so well, Saturday. The day my daughter saw a crack of opportunity in my husband’s

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The Gift Of Watching My Friend’s Impossible Dream Come True

I stood in the back of a bookstore this week and cried. “Something got in my eye,” I would’ve said if anyone asked. I grabbed one of the paper napkins from the table with a plate of cookies to wipe a nose drip away. Classy, I know. I don’t know why I bothered. I love those tears. What prompted them. Besides, no one was looking at me. All eyes focused on her. About 15 feet away stood a friend. A

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What I Really Want My Late Mother To Say To Me

My mother has cancer. It has metastasized to her forehead. Her eyebrow, actually. She’s in pain. And she’s pissed. This is all horrifying. Sad. And, interesting. Interesting, because my mother passed away last August. I’m living what you might know, Dear Reader. You, who has said goodbye to someone you love. Someone who is gone, just not really gone. And so, it is, these nights, that my mother shows up in dreams. This happens about once a week. She’s angry.

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How My Daughter’s Secret Compromised My Marriage

They are the words that inspire panic in any well-meaning parent. “I’m going to tell you something,” my daughter announced this week, but you have to promise me you won’t tell any other member of this family.” Talk about the ultimate morals test. On one hand, I was thrilled and relieved that Daughter trusted me enough to share her deep, dark secret. On the other, keep a secret from my husband? We just don’t have that kind of marriage. On

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The Alligator And Canoe It Took To Finally Legalize Our Marriage

It’s possible our marriage wasn’t even legal. It’s not like my husband and I were in a crazy hurry to get married. We dated for two years. Carefully read and answered a book with 276 pre-marital questions. And yet, somehow we got hitched without what Husband said he would never do. “We can’t get married without going on a canoe trip,” he declared sometime during dating. We would have to see how we would do paddling a canoe. Together. Do

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How Losing Love Has Sent Me Into Crazy Land

I’ve become that lady. The crazy one. You probably figured this was coming, Dear Reader. Checking in each week to see if I’ve become her yet. Indeed, I have. The crazy lady who misses her dog. Beyond misses. Most days, I ache. It’s been about two months since DarlaDog passed. I still swear I can hear her collar jingling in the other room. Still catch my breath when I see a few scraps from dinner and have to remind myself,

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How A Sweet Boy And A Truck Reminded Me The Secret To Love

A sweet boy from high school taught me something about love this week. Of course, he is no longer a boy. Now a man. A husband. A father. An incredibly happy one last July as he walked along Promenade des Anglais in Nice, France. Do you remember the evil that happened that night? As the French celebrated Bastille Day, their independence day? A crazed terrorist barreled a truck down that boulevard packed with people. His single mission was to destroy

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Why I’ve Never Needed Another Birthday Present Since I Was Seven Years Old

Welcome to my birthday week. Which I share, not to encourage you to send a gift. Rather the exact opposite. Don’t bother. There’s no need, As I long ago received my best gift ever. All others have always paled in comparison. This one showed up 2 1/2 weeks before my seventh birthday. A gift I knew was on the way. My parents gave my brother and me a heads up months before. Brother followed this breaking news by hauling me

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